This study investigated microfiltration of Lake Michigan Water for the production of drinking water. A 60 gpm Memcor microfiltration pilot plant was operated for nine months at Manitowoc, Wisconsin to determine and model the performance characteristics of a microfiltration pilot plant for varying surface water conditions. Statistical regression and modeling was used to determine and develop quantitative relationships between time of operation and several operational variables for water quality and productivity. Modifications of Darcy's Law and flux decline data were used to develop a model relating temperature and flux to cleaning frequency. Statistical hypothesis testing and associated modeling were used to determine if relationships existed between the water quality and the independent operating variables affecting microfiltration. The study demonstrated that the filtered water turbidity or particle count did not carry with the flux or the influent water temperature and that the degree of turbidity or particle count removal was dependent on the raw water turbidity or particle count. Direct filtration of an alum pretreated feed water was found to greatly increase time of operation between cleanings for temperatures below 48 degrees F. As expected the size exclusion membrane process was found to have no effect on dissolved of diffusion controlled solute rejection. the investigation found the turbidity and particle counts of the microfiltered water was less than the same for the finished water produced by the conventional alum coagulation, sedimentation and filtration process. The investigation demonstrated that microfiltration could be used to consistently produce a drinking water that met or exceeded state or federal requirements at Manitowoc. Based on the results of this investigation, a recommendation was made to use microfiltration as the treatment process of choice for the treatment of Lake Michigan Water.


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Graduation Date





Taylor, James S.


Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Degree Program

Environmental Engineering






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Masters Thesis (Open Access)



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